Writing and Illustration of a Non-Fiction Picturebook

A course by Catarina Sobral
Author, Illustrator, and Director. Lisbon, Portugal.
Joined August 2020
, Author, Illustrator, and Director

Combine storytelling and illustration techniques to craft a captivating children’s book inspired by the real world

  • 98% positive reviews (55)
  • 1497 students
  • Audio: English
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch

Combine storytelling and illustration techniques to craft a captivating children’s book inspired by the real world



  • 98% positive reviews (55)
  • 1497 students
  • 22 lessons (4h 20m)
  • 25 additional resources (9 files)
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Available on the app
  • Audio: English
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch
  • Level: Beginner
  • Unlimited access forever


Through non-fiction children’s books, you can poetically translate the real world using illustrations and words. Author, illustrator, and director Catarina Sobral writes award-winning picturebooks that have been exhibited around the world and published in 16 different languages.

In this course, she teaches you how to write and illustrate a story rooted in real events that appeals to a broad audience. Develop the storytelling and drawing skills needed to create the first and last spread of a captivating picturebook. Become a visual storyteller and craft a non-fiction picturebook for young readers.

This is Catarina’s second course with Domestika. In her first, Experimental Techniques for Picturebooks, she explores how to use tempo, tension, and plot to create visual narratives from scratch.

What will you learn in this online course?

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Key Concepts
  • U3
    U3. Warm-up
  • U4
    U4. Hands-on
  • U5
    U5. What’s Next?
  • FP
    FP Final project
View details

Begin the course by getting to know author, illustrator, and director Catarina Sobral. She talks through the journey that led her to craft award-winning picturebooks that have been published in 16 different languages. Find out about the influences which inspire her work.

Dive into what a non-fiction picturebook is, using examples to explore the different formats they can take. Learn how to incorporate Catarina’s key concepts for non-fiction picturebooks into your work. She discusses the importance of universality, permeability, and affectivity for appealing to a wide audience. Then start sketching your first spread, and later the glossary, experimenting with color, shapes, and contrast.

Time to warm up your drawing and writing skills! Learn a new illustration technique designed for spot color printing, using both digital and analogue tools. Then explore how to structure a non-fiction text. Catarina guides you through how to write a captivating first line, how to create intentional page breaks, when to end your story, and more.

Put what you’ve learned into practice, starting by choosing a theme for your story. Dive into the writing part of your project by using Catarina’s advice to create a glossary full of fun, yet surprising concepts. Then start sketching your double-page spread, and later the glossary, experimenting with color, shapes, and spacing.

Add the finishing touches to your artwork. Paint your designs using analogue techniques, before scanning and coloring them digitally in Photoshop or InDesign. To finish the course, Catarina looks at another format for editorial children’s illustration to help you build on the skills you’ve learned.

What is this course's project?

Write and illustrate two spreads of a non-fiction picturebook for children: the first double-page and the glossary.

Who is this online course for?

This course is for anyone with an interest in improving their drawing and storytelling skills.

Requirements and materials

No previous experience is needed to take this course.

In terms of materials, you will need a sketchbook, tracing paper, acetate sheets, alcohol or water-based markers, pencil, acrylic black paint, a box cutter, brushes, paper tape, a scanner, and a computer with Adobe Photoshop or InDesign installed.


Reviews

1497 Students
55 Reviews
98% Positive ratings

Catarina Sobral

A course by Catarina Sobral

Teacher Plus
Author, Illustrator, and Director

Catarina Sobral is a Portuguese illustrator, author, and director of animated films. Before launching her career as a freelance illustrator, she studied graphic design and illustration, developing a unique style blending her eye-catching illustrations and strong narrative voice.

Catarina’s work can be seen regularly in illustrations for press, album covers, posters, and of course, picturebooks. Her award-winning picturebooks have been published in 16 different languages and exhibited around the world, gaining recognition from the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, the Portuguese National Illustration Award, the Portuguese Authors’ Society, the White Ravens catalog, and 3x3 magazine.


Content

  • U1

    Introduction

    • About Me
    • Influences
  • U2

    Key Concepts

    • Nonfiction Picture Books
    • Creating Children’s Content
    • Denotation and Connotation
    • Materials
  • U3

    Warm-up

    • Color Exercise
    • Illustration Technique: Analogue 1
    • Illustration Technique: Analogue 2
    • Illustration Technique: Digital 1
    • Illustration Technique: Digital 2
    • Nonfictional Text
  • U4

    Hands-on

    • Choosing a Theme
    • Creative Writing for Nonfiction 1
    • Creative Writing for Nonfiction 2
    • Sketch the First Spread 1
    • Sketch the First Spread 2
    • Sketch the Glossary
  • U5

    What’s Next?

    • Final Art of the First Spread
    • Final Art of the Glossary
    • Digital Post-production
    • Other Formats
  • FP

    Final project

    • Writing and Illustration of a Non-Fiction Picturebook

What to expect from a Domestika course

  • Learn at your own pace

    Enjoy learning from home without a set schedule and with an easy-to-follow method. You set your own pace.

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    Learn valuable methods and techniques explained by top experts in the creative sector.

  • Meet expert teachers

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  • Share knowledge and ideas

    Ask questions, request feedback, or offer solutions. Share your learning experience with other students in the community who are as passionate about creativity as you are.

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FAQs

Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need to complete a specific project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the teacher and with other students, creating a dynamic course community.

All courses are 100% online, so once they're published, courses start and finish whenever you want. You set the pace of the class. You can go back to review what interests you most and skip what you already know, ask questions, answer questions, share your projects, and more.

The courses are divided into different units. Each one includes lessons, informational text, tasks, and practice exercises to help you carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You'll also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the teacher and with other students, as well as share your work and your course project, creating a community around the course.

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Writing and Illustration of a Non-Fiction Picturebook. Illustration, and Writing course by Catarina Sobral

Writing and Illustration of a Non-Fiction Picturebook

A course by Catarina Sobral
Author, Illustrator, and Director. Lisbon, Portugal.
Joined August 2020
  • 98% positive reviews (55)
  • 1497 students